Coronavirus Pandemic

How this Emirati doctor served the country during Covid outbreak

Nandini Sircar/Dubai
Filed on December 4, 2020

She has spent long hours doing it out of sheer love for her country, not merely as a professional but also fulfilling her national duties and responsibilities.

This report is part of a special National Day series called #HeroesUnmasked. The series pays tribute to the UAE's frontliners: The people who faced the coronavirus head on — no second thoughts, no questions asked — all for the love of the country.

For 32-year-old Emirati doctor Dana Mohamed Al Marzooqi, it is a matter of pride that she has been able to serve her country despite the imminent threats posed by Covid-19 which has emerged as a new and deadly foe.

UAE National Day: Emirati doctor stayed away from newborn to serve the country

The frontlines that are no longer at faraway zones, instead appear in our city’s hospitals and healthcare centres.

Managing the Covid-19 drive-through screening centre – Al Madina, Dana has overseen the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company’s (Seha) mass screening programmes and special missions extending over different times including late night and public holidays.

Read on: Being on Covid frontline is my duty, says doctor

She has spent long hours doing it out of sheer love for her country, not merely as a professional but also fulfilling her national duties and responsibilities.

“As a frontline family medicine specialist, reviewing and managing patients was my core responsibility along with the medical staff under me. We had to collectively make sure that the patients walking into our facility were treated with the utmost care and caution. We’ve always been ready to deal with all situations and emergencies,” said Dana.

As the country celebrates National Day, citizens and residents recognise the relentless sacrifice of healthcare professionals like Dana, who poignantly remind that the call for duty comes ahead of everything else.

In keeping with the government’s efforts to identify best global practices, Dana and her team had stepped up to meet all challenges — however big or small.

“My work along with our group of doctors and medical staff entailed active tracing of Covid-19 positive patients as well as contact screening and managing them accordingly, enhancing our operational capabilities continuously.”

Apart from this, she continued to supervise and train young doctors who were under training (residents), while swiftly facilitating work at the drive-in testing centre, stepping up tracing and expediting public awareness.

“My job was also to guide and support resident doctors as they remained steadfast in serving the patients during the pandemic. Additionally, my part entailed playing an active role in leading and running the Covid-19 vaccine missions,” said Dana.

While time was the biggest casualty for Dana, every day her work put her in direct contact with Covid-19 patients, so a part of her always knew there could be a reasonable chance of her contracting the disease.

“I feel these apprehensions cannot be deterrents while discharging your duty. I did feel concerned about my family though, having to go back to our loved ones and putting our them at risk of potential exposure. The other challenge was even as doctors we had to deal with a lot of ambiguity with regards to the virus and there was a reasonable amount of uncertainty that we had to deal with, especially in the initial phases,” added the frontline worker.

Dana and her team who stand together in solidarity and pride to celebrate the Spirit of the Union. “Coronavirus has not stopped me wanting to be a doctor, my job is very important, particularly at this time. I must continue doing this work. But I would like to urge that we need to implement the Covid-19 safety measures strictly as it’s the only way we know forward.”

(with inputs from Ismail Sebugwaawo)

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